Today marks a very exciting time for FilmAds, a division of Hawkins Media.It was today, 2 years ago that the name FilmAds came to be. For 3 years prior to that I had always done theatre work under the name of Hawkins Media. It just didn't have that ring to it. It lacked the whole concept of what I was trying to accomplish. I needed to get the whole concept of advertising before feature films across in one clear sentence... better yet, one word. FilmAds.

It all started out of two dates to a local theatre in Chilliwack. My wife and I went to see Ocean's Thirteen and Transformers. We had gotten to the theatre early to get a decent seat and to try to beat the crowds. We were 20 minutes early and the theatre had nothing on screen and no kind of audio playing. The theatre was full with people, waiting in anticipation for some entertainment. I remember saying to my wife, 'Why isn't there something on screen? I should talk with the owners about running advertising on screen for businesses.' My wife replied with her usual comment about my crazy ideas... Go For It.

I contacted Carin Bondar, the owner/operator of the theatre at the time, we sat down for one coffee meeting (of which she brought her beautiful newborn daughter along with her), and by the end of the meeting we had come to an agreement and the start of what has been an incredible friendship. Theatre Advertising and Matthew Hawkins had begun and has it ever been a crazy ride.

The amount of lessons I have learned along the way is too much to type here. Marketing, finances, sacrifice, dedication, passion, doubt, loss... I have grown through this whole process so much.

I started with one local theatre and then expanded to a theatre in Salmon Arm, the Salmar Theatre. 5 beautiful screens that sit downtown Salmon Arm. Shortly after working with the Salmar, the local theatre in Chilliwack took new ownership and I began working solely with the Salmar. Almost 3 years ago... crazy to think. The Salmar and their manager at the time have helped me develop FilmAds into what it is today. Out of the Salmar we began to expand into other areas of BC; Golden was next, then Williams Lake and Quesnel, followed by Trail and Terrace. People began talking and things started coming together. Our services began and continue to expand all across Western Canada.

Almost 2 years ago I left my full time job and began travelling to these towns to promote FilmAds and get local businesses to buy airtime. I put thousands and thousands of kilometres on my car. I poured everything into it. One road trip in particular I remember we were down to our last dollars. My credit limit was stretched. I had enough money for fuel, to print sales flyers off and to stay at a campground that had wifi. I needed contracts signed if I expected us to make it through. It was during this particular trip that the idea of working with the biggest theatre ad company in Canada as a representative came to mind. I knew what direction I needed to take FilmAds and there was nothing that could stop me. Partnership with Cineplex Media would be 6 months down the road.

That road trip changed a lot in me and my company. To say I am thankful for the last 5 years isn't enough. To say I'm grateful for the people who have believed in me and helped along the way, falls short of how I really feel. FilmAds has been born out of not only my own heart and desire, but through the willingness and efforts of others. I feel like I have been able to accomplish something I never thought possible and the best part is I didn't do it alone.

I'm hoping for many more years to come. Cheers, Matthew A. Hawkins (that FilmAds guy)

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